Break-ups are never easy. Whether you were “just dating” or married, with or without kids, it hurts when a relationship ends. To spend time grieving is perfectly natural and healthy but there comes a time when your heart yearns to be healed.
The following 5 steps can help you begin down that path of healing.
1. It’s Not About You—Really, It’s Not
You know that old saying “it’s not you, it’s me”? While we usually think of it as a cop-out, a way for someone to spare our feelings, the reality is that it is actually true. People act a certain way, make certain decisions, and choose to life their life a certain way because of their own desires and needs; not because of us.
When someone is a jerk, or says something nasty, or leaves you, it is because of something going on inside of them. Please know that I am not excluding the influence of your own behavior that may have precipitated the break-up, but it comes down to the fact that your ex left because of their reactions and feelings surrounding that event and it may have been the right choice for them.
Once a relationship ends, you can’t go back and change things no matter how much you want to, so it’s best to stop beating yourself up about the past. Forgive yourself for your part in the break up, learn lessons from it, and try not to take it personally. Realize that you are perfect just the way you are and there is someone out there who will agree.
2. This Too Shall Pass
I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but the pain will go away.
Allow yourself to really feel your feelings—wallow in them if you want—and know that they are temporary. Sometimes it’s good to think back to another time in your life where you felt broken, and then realize that it did, indeed, get better. This will too. If you have faith that these feelings will pass, that you will feel better someday, that day will arrive much sooner.
3. Forgive & Pray
You may be feeling some very negative emotions towards your ex, such as anger, resentment, and frustration, but harboring these feelings is only hurting one person—you. In order to save yourself, you need to forgive your ex. Now, I don’t mean you have to call them up and tell them they are forgiven (although you can if you want to), you just need to forgive them in your heart.
I have found that praying for that person helps with being able to forgive them and move on. Pray for their happiness and continued health and mean it when you say it. You should feel your anger and resentment getting less and less if you continue this practice. Doing this has the added benefit of showing yourself what a good person you really are. Hey, you even pray for those that hurt you, so you must be a loving, generous person who deserves love.
4. Live Life One Day at a Time
Concentrate on today, and focus on the present moment. It’s said that worry is like a rocking chair: it keeps you busy, but doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s time to stop worrying about the future and notice where you are today. Don’t worry about your sister’s wedding in 6 months and the fact that now you don’t have a date. Don’t worry about what will happen if you see him around town with another girl—just live for today, the rest will take care of itself. Be present for all the gifts the universe is trying to give you today.
5. It’s All About Progress
Life is hard: if it wasn’t, we would all be perfect people living in a perfect world. Give yourself kudos for any and all progress you make, since anytime you are able to move in a forward direction, that is worth celebrating. Keep track of all the progress you have made by keeping a journal of all your successes. Then, when you feel that you are going backwards, read through it and you will realize just how far you have come.
Healing your heart is really about healing your whole self, so be sure to take this opportunity to delve deeper into who you are and what you want. Start by appreciating the lessons you learned from the past, being present in the here and now, and using your power to create the future you want.
Featured photo credit: red broken heart with a bandage, on textured blue via Shutterstock
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